Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology


Cara Ray

Cara Ray
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Emotion and Social Cognition Lab
Advisor: Jeffery Huntsinger, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 306


I study the effects of emotion and mood states on information processing.

Masters Thesis Title

The impact of mood on adjustment from self-generated anchors

Masters Thesis Abstract

Although they are typically thought to be separate, emotion and reason are closely linked. Affective feelings are thought to determine which cognitive processing styles are in place at a given time. Happy moods were previously thought to lead to fast, automatic, unconscious, global, and superficial processing styles, whereas sad moods lead to slow, deliberative, conscious, local, and analytic processing styles. More recent research shows that this link is relatively flexible, so that moods may signal the value of currently accessible processing styles, or any accessible thoughts. These findings have important implications for susceptibility to cognitive biases, such as certain types of anchoring effects. In the proposed project, happy and sad moods will be induced using either music or stories. Stop rules will be used to manipulate whether mood signals performance– in this case, adjustment away from self-generated anchoring effects – or task enjoyment. Happy moods should lead to decreased adjustment compared to sad moods in the former case, and increased adjustment in the latter.

Masters Thesis Committee

Jeffrey Huntsinger and Victor Ottati